This has not been a peachy week for the Ure household. Not!  I have been going through one of the worst Mercury Retrogrades ever.  I could almost feel this one coming two weeks back, thinking through things.

A word about Mercury in Retrograde:  Like other planets, the apparent motion of Mercury is usually “normal” but a few times a year (four this year) the position of the planet in the night sky seems to move backwards.  This is “retrograde.”

Thousands of years ago, people began to notice that there’s a strange connection between ill-fated events and the movement of Mercury backwards in the sky. December 3rd to December 23rd.  But here’s the catch:  Everyone “lives” several weeks (one way or the other) from the center dates.  I’ll explain it as we go…

(Continues below)


Thanks to the brilliant work of our “consulting astrologer” (whose name we don’t use as her request, but her clients are big names!) I have been watching closely to see when my “lucky streaks” and “unlucky streaks” seem to run.

The idea was that I could line up when to do certain things by remaining mindful of Mercury.  More importantly, there were times NOT to do things.  Our C.A. (consulting astrologer) has advised plenty of clients on points like “Don’t sign anything this week!

Turns out, this cycle has been a dandy for me.

Last Tuesday, my battery supplier brought out eight fresh deep-cycle batteries for the office power system.  We like back-ups.  All good.  The old batteries had, oh, 10-years on them, so no problem with life cycles.

I dutifully put on fresh 1/0 jumpers, sprayed it all down (with BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor and Waterproof Lubrication, 12 oz.) and wired it all up to the solar and grid-tied inverter/charger.

Then I “threw the switch….”


Smoke poured out of the inverter.  (“Sh*t fire & save matches” doesn’t even come close to the cloud of blue language that followed. This was truck-driver grad school.)  I noted the date: November 21st.

Outback Power will have a box here this week to send the inverter off for repairs. I could have replaced the FET board, but they can do a more thorough job because that’s what they do at their new service center in Phoenix.

Source of the trouble?   I traced it back to the delivery fellow who didn’t put the batteries on the rack the same way they came off.  We were talking and although all the inter-battery connections were perfect, when you mix up the plus and minus by not inspecting them…well, it’s a $600 smoke release.  They were exactly backwards.

As Elaine says (too often) “You know what assume means?”    “Makes an ASS of U and ME…”\

Shazbat, as Robin Williams famously Mork’ed.

Mercury goes retrograde on December 3 and goes proper again on December 23rd.

I know…I know….one mishap does not a retrograde make.

Key data point?  November 21 to December 3 is 12 days.  Which wasn’t surprising since in past retrogrades, I’d noticed that I was about two weeks ahead of the planet going retro when things started hitting the fan.

The next day, a ballast went out in of the fluorescent lights in the kitchen.  Great.  Electronic ballast replacement time.

The next day was Thanksgiving and all went well…

But then Friday, I had several hours of trouble downloading software for this website’s new presentation framework.  I’m planning some changes in organization and coding – so might as well get everything up and running to current standards.

OH NO: THAT turned into a multi-hour sinkhole.  Finally got it working (and found the errors of my ways) so uninstall and reinstall was put on the checklist.

By Saturday, I figured things were bound to get better.

They didn’t.

I went to work on the IBM Selectric II I’ve been working on.  It was running perfectly until – being ever-so-neat – I took out the rotting 50-year old foam quieting pads and followed with a high-pressure air hosing before moving it back to the desk in the guest quarters.

Bad move:  Now, when the carriage-return is hit, the carriage goes back and forth, just dancing back and forth…although the EXP key (express return, no line feed) works fine.  I’m thinking since one blast of air screwed it up, maybe another it might fix…but due to time constraints I set that aside for a while because by now I was becoming aware that “things” in Ure’s world were not as they should be.

Saturday, by 4 PM it was time for pizza which was followed at 10:30 by the most terrible over-acid stomach on the planet.  Hence, the pseudo-vegetarian drift.

Nose back on the grindstone Sunday morning: Carefully, oh so carefully Sunday I uninstalled XAMPP (that software lets me do development work on the website offline).  It installs Apache Server, PHP 7, and a bunch of other stuff – and I laid WordPress on top of it) and all was hunky-dory.

From there I went on to work incorporating all the changes that reader Mike sent over on the new book.  Which was fine until the updated manuscript would not load to Amazon…so I figured it may have been all the additional software just installed….

EXCEPT that when I went to remove XAMPP, it ate the registry in Win-10.  The Win-10 sign-on and sign-off screens were OK, but the screen went black in the normal mode.  Safe-mode was OK, except the video drivers weren’t working as expected, Office 365 had stopped working, the only browser that worked was Firefox and the screen resolution was down to ugly from UHD outstanding….

Surely, there had to be a “secret code” to fix this?

Oh-oh…  I was up until 11 PM Sunday night trying to make it work and finally tossed in the towel.

Monday after the column (done on the studio computer)  I blew away the Win7/10 OS and did a clean install of 10 – which I worked on Monday (and may be through next week).  The good news is that I have all the software and since the BIGBOX server has been running on the Win-7 to Win-10 upgrade, I suppose I’m lucky it ran this long.

Maybe there was a lesson in here:  Lot’s more room on the SSD, the machine runs faster than ever, and 3-older versions of Office (2007, 2010, and 2013) have been removed.  Was it all a cosmic “Do Your Damn Updates, Georgie!”  A note would have been fine.

I’m not one to complain, but this is crazy.  Went to the eye doc Monday afternoon and I was almost afraid to drive with my luck going the way it has been. Luckily, no issues there and Elaine drove home.

There were several other – lesser – disasters in the last week.  Now that I am pretty clear when my “Door of Hell open” time is around retrograde, I’ll be better prepared.

Sure, go ahead and laugh.  “Aw, that old fool in de woods – he knows nuttin’…

Perhaps, but the data says that on April 18th, 2016 when my intraocular lens failed, it was when?  April 28 – May 22, 2016  was at the front-edge of my personal offset from the retrograde we were headed into at the time.

July of last year, when the operative eye wasn’t healing right? Retrograde when? August 30 – September 22, 2016.

Looking at March 22 to April 15 next year gives me some ideas.

Since I’ve got a pretty well-established two or three week offset, so next year I will either get my taxes in by the end of February or blow it all off until right up near the deadline.  Don’t need that blowing up.

Not sure what to make of astrology, over all.  But the personal pile of data about Mercury is growing.  One thing I won’t make of “retrograde” talk in the future?


Reader Note:  Although she is low-key, our C.A. does share a LOT publicly.  Like how to achieve a bountiful like.  See her site here:

Also – and put this in the weird pile – I wrote up moist of this morning’s column on Monday morning before going to the eye doc’s.  Call it 11 AM Central.

While writing it, I put out a “vibe” that I hoped our C.A. was doing OK.  Like anyone our age, she had some health challenges a while back.

What have I told you about our “I-Ching Inbox“?  There’s a post from her in the comment section this morning.

Simply amazing how some people you “connect” with on a spiritual level will call you back almost on command when summoned through the “switchboard of intention.”.

Nope: no idea how it works; just that it does work.

Eye Doc Visit

My self-cobbled health routine to bring my left/operative eye back from 20/50 land has paid off.

Instead of just doing prednisone drops and something called ProLenza which is an opthmologic NSAID, I also cut our allopurinol (see search) and used a regimen including lots of Vit C and Serrapeptase.


Operative eye is now 20/30 and doing 20/25 about half the time.

Doc is skeptical of the impacts of my added treatments, but in fairness said “We’ll take the placebo effect wherever we can get it…”  But was it placebo or intention?  My vote is for the latter.

The remaining problem is that this is only when wearing a hard contact, but with the UHD monitors and super-graphics cards that drive full 4K resolution (GT-730’s) I am back to working my usual 12-hours per day now…

Security of This Website

My buddy Gaye over at has been sharing a fair bit on website security here lately.  I’m pleased to report that on Google Page Speed, the is getting high marks.  Without the https, though, not so good.  So work continues on that.

And, over at, we get an “A” for security headers on the plain Urban site, but not with the HTTPS.

Remember the part where I mentioned 12-hour work-days a second ago?  This is part of where those go.

OK, off to see if the damn top is in yet, and laugh about digital tulips…

Write when it’s in the 7th house and Mercury is back on station….

$10K Bitcoins and Housing Data
YAOH (Yet Another Obama Hangover)